The Isle of Man is a small island with a complex geologic history. Geologists have studied and reported on the Isle of Man since the 19th century, making it a popular destination for rock hounds. Roughly 50 km (30 mi) from northeast to southwest, the island preserves rock layers dating back hundreds of millions of years. While most of the rocks are covered by soil, some rock layers exposed at the surface, along the coast, and in quarries have shed light on this island's assorted ancient landscapes. 

This natural-color satellite image of the Isle from 1 May 2001 shows the northern end of the island; the image has been rotated so north is to the right. Croplands cover the relatively flat terrain of the northern coastal plain, which forms a rough triangle. Underlying the fields are glacial sediments. Between 70,000 and 10,000 years ago, a giant ice sheet covered the Isle of Man. The ice advanced and retreated multiple times, occasionally piling up rocks to form hills. As the ice melted, all the dirt and debris locked within it came to rest on the northern plain.

Toward the south, the land rises. The rock layers in this region are collectively known as the Manx Group; they make up the bulk of the Isle of Man, and comprise a mixture of sedimentary and volcanic rocks, folded and faulted by millions of years of tectonic pressures. They are far older than the glacial sediments coating the northern plain, having been formed between 490 million and 470 million years ago at the bottom of an ancient sea floor. Visible from the sky, the uneven contours of these rock layers hint at their complicated history. Photo courtesy of NASA.
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Part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland, the isle came under the British crown in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language. The Isle of Man is a British Crown dependency, which makes it a self-governing possession of the British Crown that is not part of the UK. The UK Government, however, remains constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.

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Western Europe, island in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland

Geographic coordinates

54 15 N, 4 30 W


total: 572 sq km

land: 572 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 193

Area - comparative

slightly more than three times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


160 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm


temperate; cool summers and mild winters; overcast about a third of the time


hills in north and south bisected by central valley


highest point: Snaefell 621 m

lowest point: Irish Sea 0 m

Land use

agricultural land: 74.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 43.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 30.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 6.1% (2018 est.)

other: 19.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Population distribution

most people concentrated in cities and large towns of which Douglas, in the southeast, is the largest

Natural hazards

occasional high winds and rough seas

Geography - note

one small islet, the Calf of Man, lies to the southwest and is a bird sanctuary

People and Society


noun: Manxman (men), Manxwoman (women)

adjective: Manx

Ethnic groups

White 94.7%, Asian 3.1%, Mixed 1%, Black 0.6%, other 0.4% (2021 est.)

note: data represent population by nationality


English, Manx Gaelic (about 2% of the population has some knowledge)


Christian 54.7%, Muslim 0.5%, Buddhist 0.5%, Hindu 0.4%, Jewish 0.2%, none 43.8% (2021 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.28% (male 7,688/female 7,046)

15-24 years: 11.02% (male 5,328/female 4,642)

25-54 years: 37.8% (male 17,080/female 17,131)

55-64 years: 13.82% (male 6,284/female 6,219)

65 years and over: 21.08% (male 9,023/female 10,058) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 58.6

youth dependency ratio: 23.6

elderly dependency ratio: 34.9

potential support ratio: 2.9 (2021)

Median age

total: 44.6 years

male: 43.6 years

female: 45.6 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Birth rate

10.58 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 179

Death rate

10.18 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

Net migration rate

4.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Population distribution

most people concentrated in cities and large towns of which Douglas, in the southeast, is the largest


urban population: 53.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

27,000 DOUGLAS (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.18 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.24 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 185

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.04 years

male: 80.23 years

female: 84 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 99.1% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0.9% of population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: NA

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: NA


total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 10.1%

male: 11.8%

female: 8.2% (2011 est.)


Environment - current issues

air pollution, marine pollution; waste disposal (both household and industrial)


temperate; cool summers and mild winters; overcast about a third of the time

Land use

agricultural land: 74.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 43.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 30.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 6.1% (2018 est.)

other: 19.2% (2018 est.)


urban population: 53.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 50,551 tons (2011 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 25,276 tons (2011 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 50% (2011 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Isle of Man

abbreviation: I.O.M.

etymology: the name "man" may be derived from the Celtic word for "mountain"

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Tynwald)

Dependency status

British crown dependency


name: Douglas

geographic coordinates: 54 09 N, 4 29 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: name derives from the Dhoo and Glass Rivers, which flow through the valley in which the town is located and which in Manx mean the "dark" and the "light" rivers respectively

Administrative divisions

none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 24 local authorities each with its own elections


none (British Crown dependency)

National holiday

Tynwald Day, 5 July (1417); date Tynwald Day was first recorded


history: development of the Isle of Man constitution dates to at least the 14th century

amendments: proposed as a bill in the House of Keys, by the "Government," by a "Member of the House," or through petition to the House or Legislative Council; passage normally requires three separate readings and approval of at least 13 House members; following both House and Council agreement, assent is required by the lieutenant governor on behalf of the Crown; the constitution has been expanded and amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system

the laws of the UK apply where applicable and include Manx statutes


see United Kingdom


16 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Lord of Mann King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Lieutenant Governor Sir John LORIMER (since 29 September 2021)

head of government: Chief Minister Alfred CANNAN (since 12 October 2021)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the lieutenant governor

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister indirectly elected by the Tynwald for a 5-year term (eligible for second term); election last held on 23 September 2021 (next to be held in 2026)

election results: 2021: Alfred CANNAN (independent) elected chief minister; Tynwald House of Keys vote - 21 of 24

2016: Howard QUAYLE elected chief minister; Tynwald House of Keys vote - 21 of 33

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Tynwald or the High Court of Tynwald consists of:
Legislative Council (11 seats; includes the President of Tynwald, 2 ex-officio members - the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man and the attorney general (non-voting) - and 8 members indirectly elected by the House of Keys with renewal of 4 members every 2 years; elected members serve 4-year terms)
House of Keys (24 seats; 2 members directly elected by simple majority vote from 12 constituencies to serve 5-year terms)

Legislative Council - last held 29 February 2020 (next to be held on 28 February 2022)
House of Keys - last held on 23 September 2021 (next to be held in September 2026)

election results:

Legislative Council - composition (as of 2022) - men 6, women 4, 1 vacancy; percent of women 36.4%

House of Keys - percent of vote by party - Liberal Vannin 5.3%, Manx Labour Prty 5.1%, Green Party 3.3% independent 86.3%; seats by party - independent 21; Manx Labour Party 2, Liberal Vannin 1; composition – men 14, women 10, percent of women 41.7%; note - total Tynwald percent of women 37.1%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Isle of Man High Court of Justice (consists of 3 permanent judges or "deemsters" and 1 judge of appeal; organized into the Staff of Government Division or Court of Appeal and the Civil Division); the Court of General Gaol Delivery is not formally part of the High Court but is administered as though part of the High Court and deals with serious criminal cases; note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: deemsters appointed by the Lord Chancellor of England on the nomination of the lieutenant governor; deemsters can serve until age 70

subordinate courts: High Court; Court of Summary Gaol Delivery; Summary Courts; Magistrate's Court; specialized courts

Political parties and leaders

Green Party [Andrew LANGAN-NEWTON]
Liberal Vannin Party or LVP [Lawrie HOOPER]
Manx Labor Party [Joney FARAGHER]
Mec Vannin [Mark KERMODE] (sometimes referred to as the Manx Nationalist Party)

note: most members sit as independents

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (British crown dependency)

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (British crown dependency)

Flag description

red with the Three Legs of Man emblem (triskelion), in the center; the three legs are joined at the thigh and bent at the knee; in order to have the toes pointing clockwise on both sides of the flag, a two-sided emblem is used; the flag is based on the coat of arms of the last recognized Norse King of Mann, MAGNUS III (r. 1252-65); the triskelion has its roots in an early Celtic sun symbol

National symbol(s)

triskelion (a motif of three legs); national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Arrane Ashoonagh dy Vannin" (O Land of Our Birth)

lyrics/music: William Henry GILL [English], John J. KNEEN [Manx]/traditional

note: adopted 2003, in use since 1907; serves as a local anthem; as a British Crown dependency, "God Save the King" is official (see United Kingdom) and is played when the sovereign, members of the royal family, or the lieutenant governor are present


Economic overview

Financial services, manufacturing, and tourism are key sectors of the economy. The government offers low taxes and other incentives to high-technology companies and financial institutions to locate on the island; this has paid off in expanding employment opportunities in high-income industries. As a result, agriculture and fishing, once the mainstays of the economy, have declined in their contributions to GDP. The Isle of Man also attracts online gambling sites and the film industry. Online gambling sites provided about 10% of the islands income in 2014. The Isle of Man currently enjoys free access to EU markets and trade is mostly with the UK. The Isle of Man’s trade relationship with the EU derives from the United Kingdom’s EU membership and will need to be renegotiated in light of the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the bloc. A transition period is expected to allow the free movement of goods and agricultural products to the EU until the end of 2020 or until a new settlement is negotiated.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$6.792 billion (2015 est.)

$7.428 billion (2014 est.)

$6.298 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2014 US dollars

country comparison to the world: 169

Real GDP growth rate

-8.6% (2015 est.)

17.9% (2014 est.)

2.1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 221

Real GDP per capita

$84,600 (2014 est.)

$86,200 (2013 est.)

$73,700 (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

GDP (official exchange rate)

$6.792 billion (2015 est.)

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: Aa3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: N/A

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1% (FY12/13 est.)

industry: 13% (FY12/13 est.)

services: 86% (FY12/13 est.)

Agricultural products

cereals, vegetables; cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry


financial services, light manufacturing, tourism

Labor force - by occupation

manufacturing: 5% (2006 est.)

construction: 8% (2006 est.)

tourism: 1% (2006 est.)

transport and communications: 9% (2006 est.)

agriculture, forestry, and fishing: 2% (2006 est.)

gas, electricity, and water: 1% (2006 est.)

wholesale and retail distribution: 11% (2006 est.)

professional and scientific services: 20% (2006 est.)

public administration: 7% (2006 est.)

banking and finance: 23% (2006 est.)

entertainment and catering: 5% (2006 est.)

miscellaneous services: 8% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate

1.1% (2017 est.)

2% (April 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11


revenues: 965 million (FY05/06 est.)

expenditures: 943 million (FY05/06 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Exports - commodities

tweeds, herring, processed shellfish, beef, lamb

Imports - commodities

timber, fertilizers, fish

Exchange rates

Manx pounds (IMP) per US dollar -

0.7836 (2017 est.)

0.738 (2016 est.)

0.738 (2015)

0.6542 (2014)

0.6472 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)


Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the Isle of Man has an extensive communications infrastructure consisting of telephone cables, submarine cables, and an array of television and mobile phone transmitters and towers (2022)

domestic: landline, telefax, mobile cellular telephone system

international: country code - 44; fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, satellite earth station, submarine cable

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

national public radio broadcasts over 3 FM stations and 1 AM station; 2 commercial broadcasters operating with 1 having multiple FM stations; receives radio and TV services via relays from British TV and radio broadcasters


Airports - with paved runways

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2021)


total: 63 km (2008)

narrow gauge: 6 km (2008) 1.076-m gauge (6 km electrified)

57 0.914-mm gauge (29 km electrified) note: primarily summer tourist attractions

country comparison to the world: 130


total: 1,107 km (2022)

paved: 1,107 km

country comparison to the world: 183

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Douglas, Ramsey

Military and Security

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues